I was meaning to post a link to this piece by Robert Stacey McCain about a week ago. For a reason I forget, I was called away and never got back to it. Just today though, I came across it in my bookmarks. I will give you the link, and a taste, and urge you to take the time to read this. It sums up many of my feelings about history, especially that history involving the War Between the States. And, frankly, McCain is a brilliant writer and does a great job in this piece. Here is your taste my friends
All of this is important to me personally, because it has something to do with how I acquired a notorious reputation as a “neo-Confederate” thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich. When I first gained Internet access circa 1995 — in the age of dial-up modems and Usenet groups — there were a couple of places where Civil War history was discussed in open forums. These became the online terrain of conflict because certain damned Yankees (among them Mark Pitcavage, later with the ADL) sought out every opportunity to turn discussion of even the most mundane matters of military history into an occasion to denounce the South for slavery and treason. Older readers will recall that the 1990 Ken Burns documentary on PBS had helped revive public interest in Civil War history leading up to the 125th anniversary of the war, and part of the effect of that was to attract a lot of liberal academics (Pitcavage was then a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio State) to pay attention to an area of history they might otherwise have ignored. This resulted in a politicization of history which has echoes to this day in the controversy over Critical Race Theory. Part of the reason for this was (a) in 1994, Republicans led by Newt Gingrich won control of Congress, and (b) in 1995, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building.
After the OKC bombing, Pitcavage made himself into an “expert” on radical militias (McVeigh was on the fringe of the militia movement) and seemed to think that Southerners defending their ancestors in Civil War history forums on the Internet were would-be right-wing terrorists. And by God, I was not going to be insulted by any damned Yankee Ph.D.
Again, go READ IT ALL folks.